Come March, who isn’t itching to get out on the water, soak up the sun, and float the day away while waiting for the big one? This month, we celebrate the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere but it might not feel or look like it. Ice still covers the lakes, the threat of late winter snow storms looms over us, and the temps aren’t quite warm enough to bury your winter coat in the back of your closet yet. But just as winter starts to retreat, migrating season begins for walleye making their way to spawning grounds and that means it’s prime season for many anglers looking to catch the big one.
Anglers migrate to the north every spring for one big reason: catch-and-release season. Fishers with cabin fever can delight knowing that they don’t have to wait for the May fishing opener in Minnesota to get out on the water and start casting. This catch-and-release season is in effect from March 1 to April 14 on Rainy River. With anglers migrating from all over the region for the extended season, here’s what you need to know:
Ever heard the old adage “Leave a place better than you found it?” Year round, Rainy Lake welcomes visitors in masses. Winter months bring visitors that pride themselves in hardiness and bravery against the cold. Spring brings fishing opener enthusiasts in troves. Summer months bring families looking to rent houseboats and forge memories not soon forgotten. Fall brings hunters and foliage fans ready to admire the beauty of the changing seasons. There are visitors that know the hard work it takes to keep this place pristine and magical all 365 days of the year. As visitors continue to make Rainy Lake a return destination, the bonds that form become harder to break and full-time residents grow fond of the familiar faces that become forever friends.
The natural landscape and wildlife of this region make this place a sight to behold, but it’s the residents that give their time and devotion to a remote corner of the region to ensure that this place never loses its wonder. For visitors that want to make a difference wherever they go, there’s an upcoming event that allows participants to leave a lasting impact on Rainy Lake while enjoying an activity you already love.
12th Annual Speed Run Against Cancer
Got the need for speed? The 12th Annual Speed Run Against Cancer is a fantastic way to raise money for a great, local cause. Participants race snowmobiles to see who’s fastest for a chance at winning one of five prizes. Get ready for roaring engines, cheering spectators, and record speeds. Come dressed for the weather and be careful of other riders if traveling to the event by snowmobile.
The best part: proceeds from this event go toward a local charity that helps cover gas costs for local residents needing to travel for cancer treatment.
Preparing for the Big Race
Need some practice before your sign up? There is a plethora of well-groomed trails to discover. Visitors have been traveling to Rainy Lake for years to ride the trails and sightsee the beauty of the north under a thick blanket of white snow. Voyageur Trail Society keeps up-to-date trail conditions on their site here throughout the winter months.
If you’d like to find some straight shots or wide open space, check the trail map. We’ve prepared a checklist to review before you get on your sled to ensure you stay safe and are prepared for the conditions.
Where to Stay
The event takes place at Thunderbird Lodge, but reservations can fill up fast. If you’re planning on riding into the event via sled, there are many lodging options near Rainy Lake that you can choose from. Check out our site for alternatives consisting of hotels and motels to resorts, cabins, and bed and breakfasts.